You never expected that getting pregnant would turn out to be difficult. But here you are, several expensive treatments later, and with nothing to show for them except for frustration and disappointment. But don't give up. There's still something to try: conception yoga. Yes, you read that right—yoga.
There's a trend toward holistic fertility centers that offer a wide variety of alternative therapies that include acupuncture, massage, and yoga. Yoga as practiced for fertility is a gentle discipline that helps you breathe your way to a relaxed state of being. This relaxation is not just external, but works on the internal muscles that are linked to your reproductive state, opening up your pelvis and hips.
It seems like the idea is catching on like wildfire. That's a good thing because you can now find fertility yoga classes just about anywhere in the United States. Some of these courses target specific female fertility factors while others serve a more general purpose and help prepare women for conception.
It sounds good but you're still skeptical. How do you know that conception yoga can help you get pregnant?
There isn't a great deal of data on the effects of fertility yoga on rates of conception, but the data there is lends strength to the concept. Harvard Medical School's Alice Domar, PhD started a program for infertile women at Massachusetts General Hospital at the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine. Eventually, she created her own Domar Center for Mind/Body Health. Domar's program includes 10 sessions during which various types of relaxation techniques are taught. Women learn yoga, meditation, and have acupuncture treatments among other therapies.
During the year 2000, 55% of Domar's infertile patients had a baby within a year of enrolling in the program. Of the women in the control group, only 20% managed to conceive and deliver babies.
There seems to be a link between stress and infertility. Yoga is like a palliative measure that counters that stress, allowing the body to become relaxed. This type of yoga teaches a philosophy that conception is not something over which we have control: "You can't force the river."
Yoga is about inviting that river to flow through your body. The invitation removes the struggle against becoming pregnant and often results in conception. But this is not just a philosophy: many women taking fertility yoga classes report they feel their hips opening and realize that their bodies have become ready to accept a pregnancy.